Pollinators are easy to attract to your farm or garden. There are four keys to success: don't spray herbicides or insecticides; do provide habitat; do provide a food source; and focus on native species.
A bumblebee on a Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea).
The first of those is straightforward enough, and the second two are taken care of by planting nectar-rich flowers that bloom over a long period of the year. The foliage itself provides habitat – most insect pollinators like dense vegetation in which they can hide from predators and lay eggs – and the flowers provide the fuel. Plants native to your area are the best bet because they have co-evolved with the native pollinators.
The more diverse your plantings, the better, as some species are very picky. To get you started, here are a few ideas for pollinator plants native to each area of the country. Peruse the list below, and add your favorites to your garden planning list. Want more information? Extensive regional guides can be found at pollinator.org, a project of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign. They even have a handy app.
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